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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Report, "Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives"

"This report provides the detailed findings from a 2009 OCLC Research survey of 275 institutions across the U.S. and Canada to determine norms across the community and to provide data to support decision making and priority setting. This survey updated and expanded a similar survey administered by the Association of Research Libraries in 1998, the outcomes of which catalyzed the special collections community and led directly to numerous high-profile initiatives to "expose hidden collections." Since then, recognition of the distinction that unique special collections bring to our institutions has greatly increased. Some key data points discovered in the 2009 survey include: far too many rare and unique materials remain "hidden"; the size of collections is growing rapidly; most institutions report increased numbers of onsite users; staffing generally remains stable; and digitization and born-digital archival records emerged as two of the three most challenging issues"

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